Good morning, Camden Chatters.
In baseball, it’s never quite fair to expect to sweep a series. Heck, you can’t take for granted that you’ll even win any particular series. No matter how lopsided a matchup may look on paper, no matter how bad your opponent’s record may be, this is still Major League Baseball. Any team is capable of winning two or three games against any other. (Over in Milwaukee, the Brewers just got a cold dose of that reality, getting swept in three games at home by the MLB-worst Oakland Athletics, who entered the series 20 games worse than them.) So the Orioles, entering their series against the atrocious Royals this weekend, weren’t guaranteed three easy wins. They would have to earn them.
Oh, they earned them.
The O’s more than took care of business against the now 18-47 Royals, sweeping the club out of town with a trio of well-played games. The Birds did everything they needed to do, combining stellar pitching, sparkling defense, and timely hitting to extend their winning streak to four. Yesterday’s finale was the best of the bunch, with a resounding 11-3 win that was by far their biggest margin of victory this season (their previous best was five runs). It featured ex-Royal Ryan O’Hearn reaching base five times, Ramón Urías four, and a rejuvenated Gunnar Henderson crushing the longest Eutaw Street home run in Camden Yards history. Check out John Beers’s recap for all the thrilling details.
The Orioles are now a season-best 17 games over .500 at 41-24, though they gained no ground on the Rays, who beat Texas yesterday in a battle between baseball’s two best teams. The Birds remain 5.5 behind Tampa Bay for the AL East lead but are in the top wild card position for now.
Today brings a well-deserved day off for the Orioles before they finish their homestand with three games against the Blue Jays, who will be looking for revenge for last month’s sweep in Toronto. If the Orioles keep playing like they did this weekend, no team in baseball should scare them.
Henderson 462-foot home run among highlights in Orioles sweep (updated) - School of Roch
Of his record-breaking homer, Gunnar said, “I feel like when I finally get to the man-strength phase, I might be able to get a little bit further.” And I don’t think he’s joking.
Brandon Hyde and Orioles veterans say it’s harder to be a young player in MLB today. Here’s why. - Baltimore Sun
In this era of advanced technology, your MLB opponents know all about you before you’ve even debuted. So let’s cut these young O’s players some slack if they don’t come up and immediately turn into world beaters.
The 5 worst moves made by Mike Elias in his Orioles tenure - Birds Watcher
As proof of what a stellar job Elias has done with the Orioles, look at how difficult it is for this author to think of even five Elias mistakes. Trading Alex Cobb? Losing Zach Pop in the Rule 5 draft? Those are nothingburgers.
A 20.5 K rate for the last month? Yep, Félix Bautista has been that dominant - Steve Melewski
Seriously, how does anyone ever get a hit off of this guy? For that matter, how does anyone even face him without yelping like a child and fleeing back to the dugout?
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Two former Orioles were born on June 12: catcher Dave Skaggs (72) and the Baltimore-born, second-generation Oriole Damon Buford (53).
On this day in 2004, the Orioles’ Rafael Palmeiro and the Giants’ Barry Bonds became just the third duo of 500-homer players to hit dingers in the same game. In an interleague tilt in Baltimore, Bonds swatted his 675th career homer in the top of the third, and Palmeiro answered in the bottom of the inning with his 536th blast, and later in the game added his 537th. It was Bonds’ team who prevailed, though, with the Giants winning, 9-6, in 11 innings.
Random Orioles game of the day
On June 12, 2015, the Orioles walloped the Yankees at Camden Yards, 11-3. All nine O’s batters contributed at least one hit, totaling 16 in all, as the Birds jumped on Michael Pineda and three Yanks relievers. Chris Davis, Caleb Joseph, and Jimmy Paredes each contributed three hits, including homers for Davis and Joseph. The ample run support benefited O’s starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who got the win with a five-inning, three-run effort. The win was the Orioles’ fifth in a row, moving them back to .500 on the season (30-30).